Melbourne Open House: Old Treasury Building

The Old Treasury Building is one of my favourite buildings from Melbourne’s early history.  It was built in the late 1850’s to house the gold that was being brought to Melbourne from the goldfields of Ballarat.  Walking inside is liking walking into 19th century grandeur.

There were several exhibitions that we were able to look at: Sailing into Victoria and a Ned Kelly exhibition.  The Sailing into Victoria one showed how the development of the piers where the passenger ships dock nowadays.  It’s interesting seeing the beaches without the piers, especially Station Pier.  The other exhibition showed the life of Ned Kelly and his family and also showed the exploits of his gang.

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The rooms below are the ‘downstairs’ rooms.  This is where the caretaker, his wife and eight children lived from 1916-1928.

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Melbourne Open House: One Spring Street

One Spring St is on the corner of Flinders and Spring St and has some of the best views of the sporting precinct.  Being a sports addict I wanted to go into this building on Open House day to see the views of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG or just the ‘G’ to locals) and Rod Laver Arena (home of the Australian Tennis Open and a major concert venue).

We were taken up to the 15th floor to see the view.  The guide kept wanting us to look at the view of the Dandenong Mountains but Mum and I were more interested in the sporting venues.

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The Melbourne Cricket Ground

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Rod Laver Arena

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The Shell sculpture outside 1 Spring Street.  The building was originally tenanted by Shell Corporation.  When they left the building they wanted to take the sculpture with them to their new building but the sculptor wouldn’t allow it because he said it was made for the building not Shell Corporation.

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Looking down to the Treasury Gardens.  The buildings are government offices.

Melbourne Open House: Myer Mural Hall

On the last weekend of July every year, many Melbourne institutions open their doors to the public.  This year was the first year I’ve been able to go.  The Myer Mural Hall was one of the buildings I wanted to see.  It’s on the top floor of Myer Melbourne.  The area on the top floor was set aside by the owner Sidney Myer when he built the flagship store.  He used it as a ballroom for private fashion parades and exclusive events for the Melbourne elite.  Nowadays it can be hired for weddings, cocktail parties. They also hold monthly high teas.

It’s a beautiful room with four murals on each of the eastern and western walls, a beautifully renovated staircase at one end with huge windows overlooking Bourke St Mall at the other end.

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Spanish Cooking Course

 Last weekend my friend and I finally got to do a Spanish cooking course we first booked in January.  Due to unfortunate circumstances beyond our control the course got rescheduled a couple of times.  I wasn’t getting my hopes up but was really happy when the day arrived. 

There were eight of us and we cooked in pairs.  Each table had a single-burner stove on it and we cooked all the dishes on that stove.  All the food preparation was done for us so we just needed to cook each course.  We started with the Crema Catalina (Spanish version of Crème Brulee) because that had to set for an hour.  Next was the crorquettas, then the pimientos and paella.  Paella is one of my favourite dishes.  At the end we sat at a communal table at the back of the restaurant and ate what we cooked.  It was good to chat with the other ladies while we enjoyed our food.  We really enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to going back to the restaurant.

Finished croquetta

Croquettas

Pimiento

Pimientos with black rice (my first time eating something cooked with squid ink)

Paella

Paella – absolutely delicious.  Served with the restaurant’s secret paella spice mix.

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Crema Catalina